Tutorial :Is rtmp the only way to protect images



Question:

I have images that I need to manage access to. I've come across osmf and rtmp streaming which are flash/adobe technologies and would require me to install a special server. Anyone knows of other ways to get the same effect with php.

Edit:

By "manage access to" I mean that the average user would not be able to save the page and save the image with it. If they want to view the image again, they would have to revisit, re-request it. Flash streaming server offers that, but are there non-flash/adobe solutions to compare it to.

Edit:

"Give up" is not something you say to your employer who is a publisher and has legal requirements to protect the IP other entities license to them. Sorry, but I don't make management decisions, and I'm not a lawyer. I work in the technical department and need to find the best technical solutions to what's being asked. If it still fails occassionally, I would say this is the best technology has now, and I've given it to you. I don't want to be found personally negligible when I should have done my best. Some people don't seem to have real jobs?


Solution:1

As you seem to know, Adobe helps a lot. They've been doing great work on media protection. You might also want to check their other formats from this article. The summary is here:

  • RTMP: unencrypted
  • RTMPT: tunneled over HTTP, means RTMP data is encapsulated as valid HTTP data
  • RTMPS: sent over a secure socket layer (SSL)
  • RTMPE: an enhanced and encrypted version of RTMP, faster than SSL and does not require certificate management as SSL does
  • RTMPTE: encrypts the communication channel, tunneling over HTTP. The key benefits over SSL (RTMPS) are performance, ease of implementation, and limited impact on server capacity.

If you also plan to use Adobe's Open Source Media Framework as you say in your original post, I can't see why you can't secure your content in the way you described.

The answer to your question is that I doubt you'll find anything better. Check out this interesting blog post by Google and pay attention to paragraph 6. If Google uses them, I think you should take that as a hint.

Content Protection YouTube doesn't own the videos that you watch - they're owned by their respective creators, who control how those videos are distributed through YouTube. For YouTube Rentals, video owners require us to use secure streaming technology, such as the Flash Platform's RTMPE protocol, to ensure their videos are not redistributed. Without content protection, we would not be able to offer videos like this.


Solution:2

RTMP doesn't "protect" anything. If you stream it to the user's machine, they can copy it. Copyright law is the only way to deal with this. If you just want to provide access to logged in users, HTTP with cookies works fine.


Solution:3

By "manage access to" I mean that the average user would not be able to save the page and save the image with it. If they want to view the image again, they would have to revisit, re-request it. Flash streaming server offers that, but are there non-flash/adobe solutions to compare it to.

Give up. What you want is impossible. Any content that can be viewed can be copied and no technology on earth can change this. There is no gain in making your site confusing for the average user who only wants to save the image so they can send it to their friend.

Give up.


Solution:4

I always thought RMTP is meant for protecting video. It's a streaming media server. Assuming your images are high-quality, I'd be afraid of transmission problems degrading the quality of the images.

What you could do to prevent casual downloaders is process the image files before uploading them to your server. Perform a basic numeric transformation of any type -- it doesn't matter what you do to the file as long as the end file is impossible to load as a JPG/PNG. Then load the file with a Flash movie as a ByteArray, transform the data in the opposite direction to return it to its original state and draw it as a bitmap. The flash code doesn't sound like a lot of work, you'd also have to encode the images before hand.

Not a trivial solution, but certainly doable.


Solution:5

Gallery - http://gallery.menalto.com/ - allows you to create albums and set permissions so only certain users can see them.


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